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Responsible Online Gambling: Myth or Reality?
Gambling is one of these hobbies where others might look at you with a bit of judgement. The risk of losing money and the potential of developing an addiction have left it with a negative reputation. That is especially true for gambling on the internet, where many people expect the available gambling websites to be scams of some sort. The anonymity and distance make it easier to hide dubious intent, after all. But is online gambling really as reckless and ill-advised as some people make it out to be?
Why Gamble at All?
The answer is quite simple, really: because it is fun. Having something to win or lose is exciting. When you use strategy to play, it becomes a test of your own abilities and an exciting competition against others.
From cowboy legends to scenes like the famous match between Mads Mikkelsen and Daniel Craig in Casino Royale – poker hasn’t become quite as iconic for nothing. Lotteries, Scratch-Tickets, Raffles… people enjoy trying or pushing their luck. The many dice and card games that have developed all over the world are a clear indicator for gambling being a fun pastime with a long tradition.
It is times like the pandemic where online gambling really shines. While real-life casinos had to close their doors, the online casinos allowed people to have access to their hobby. The websites are available from the comfort of your own home or while you are travelling.
Not only can you access the games 24/7, unlike regular casinos, they also do their best to combine the benefits of both worlds: People who are missing the social element of gambling have access to live games. Here, you play popular table games against other players while being connected to a real-life casino dealer via video stream. The HUD that is layered over the video tells you important information about the game, your cards and allows you to live-chat with the other contestants.
The Push for Responsible Gambling
The biggest worry when it comes to gambling, and therefore the reason many people are wary of its worth as a pastime, are the negative effects it can have on a person’s life. Namely: Financial Losses & Addiction (leading to further financial ruin). Online gambling is in the focus of many gambling objectors because it is much harder to regulate than real-life locations.
Online casino providers, fans of gambling and the gambling laws and authorities of different countries have an interest in reducing this negative image. To do so, they are implementing and advocating safety measures to protect the players.
Advocates for Reputable Online Casinos
Gambling enthusiasts all over the world have founded communities to share their knowledge and passion. With online gambling being their hobby, it is in their best interest to advocate for its positive factors. All over the internet, you will find themed community websites like Casinomeister.com, where the site’s team and users put a spotlight on the most reputable online casinos.
They vet through the available providers to make sure many people make the right choices and as a result have an enjoyable time using online casinos. The fewer people fall for scams or have negative experiences with dodgy casinos, the more their favorite pastime loses some of that negative image.
In this review for the Rizk Casino, player rating and admin assessment offer opinions from both the ‘industry participants’, like the website owners, and regular users. Offering both opinions side by side is a part of the website’s philosophy. It is meant to ensure the readers that the rating they are seeing is no hidden advertisement.
At the latest with the widespread use of Amazon, customer reviews have changed the way the online market is navigated. Star ratings and reviews are the first stop for those who want to invest in something they know little about. Many online marketing strategies ask for service providers to cultivate their comment and review section. That is because people will weed out products with more negative comments without even looking at the product page.
The same is true for services like online gambling. Websites with reviews offer beginners the chance to get insider info and opinions, without having to look for the best offer themselves. This puts pressure on the providers of online casinos to appeal to their users and gambling community websites.
On the linked Rizk Casino review page, you will find the mention of the casino being Accredited. The Accreditation Seal is a higher tier of casino recommendations the community offers. Casinos that have applied for the badge must fulfill a list of prerequisites that focus very heavily on the player experience on their website. The casinos who have passed have the highest quality and safety standards and advocate for responsible gambling. By introducing this spotlight on the best of the best, the community pressures the casino competition to put in the same work.
Licenses and Regulations
Gambling authorities of different countries implement their gambling laws by handing out licenses to casinos. To gain a license, the casino provider has to apply and pass the authority’s investigations. They do background-checks and survey whether the online casino is in compliance with their regulations. Typical prerequisites are:
the applicant must have the relevant know-how and resources to sustain the service,
game systems need to be programmed fairly,
underage play must be prohibited,
the players' credits must be secured in case of bankruptcy,
and many more.
--> View a full example here: Malta’s GA Gambling Regulations.
Since gambling laws differ from country to country, the prerequisites for the licenses slightly change as well. Overall, any license is a good starting point. It ensures a base level of safety and quality standards. With the casino owners being clearly stated and their operations being surveilled by a gambling authority, you eliminate the risk of getting scammed.
But some licenses offer better protection when it comes to player focus and responsible gambling than others. The licenses from the Caribbean state Curaçao are famously lax. Other gambling authorities, like the ones in Malta, Great Britain, and Germany, have stricter regulations.
Just recently, Germany legalized online gambling in combination with a new gambling law. The law focuses heavily on the protection of both minors and adults. Only the casinos with a German license are allowed to operate in Germany. The license includes some of the biggest restrictions yet. For example:
a strict limit of max. €1.000 monthly deposit across all gambling websites
a limit of max. €1 wager per slot spin
no autoplay features
a self-block button that banns the user for 24h across all gambling websites
a software that tracks the users’ activities and bans them/bars entry to new casinos if violations against the regulations have been found
These rules and more are aimed at the most addictive features of online gambling. They are removed, and the players are handed additional tools to prevent addiction and a loss of control. While some casino fans dislike strict regulations such as these because they feel restricted, the German government has introduced them for good reason. It forces the casinos and players to implement limits that minimize the negative effects of gambling and therefore make it a safer and more socially acceptable pastime.
Many people judge and fear the negative effects of gambling. To counter these worries, governments, casino providers and fans focus on making gambling online as safe and enjoyable as possible. The services are regulated and monitored to ensure a high quality and safety. Many licenses include mandated safety measures, preventative information and tools to combat gambling addiction and the loss of one’s livelihood.
Gambling communities review casino websites and describe their experiences to guide users to the best providers. In doing so, they push other services to reach higher standards to be included in their recommendations. While many gambling opponents fear steps like these are helping to spread addiction, the opposite is true.
Illegal markets are always available. By pulling gambling online out of there, they have the chance to offer people their hobby in a safe and controlled environment. Within these conditions, gambling should be no less reputable than investing in trading stocks. If anything, it comes with a tighter set of restrictions and safety nets.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes